By Stephen Turner
Overseas scholarship during the last two decades has produced a brand new realizing of Emile Durkheim as a philosopher. It has contributed to reassembling what, for Durkheim, used to be constantly an entire: a sociological choice on morals and ethical activism. This quantity offers an outline of Durkheim's inspiration and is consultant of the simplest of latest Durkheim scholarship.
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1864:33) And having characterized these ancient beliefs, Fustel went on to trace their powerful impact on the family, private property, law, morality and the ancient city itself. DURKHEIM AND LA CITÉ ANTIQUE 29 This ancient religion, Fustel began, differed from later religions in two respects. First, worship of the dead was necessarily worship of one’s ancestors, and thus each family’s rituals were private and domestic (1864: 34). Second, each family’s religion was independent of every other, and its beliefs and practices were thus passed on, from father to son, as a kind of patrimony (1864: 38).
30 When several phratries or curias joined together, forming a tribe, another religion was formed; and when several tribes gathered to found the confederation which constituted the ancient city, still another, more comprehensive worship was established. 32 The city, for example, was a collective group of those who had the same deities and performed religious ceremonies at the same altar; and nothing in the city was more sacred than this altar, on which the sacred fire was maintained (Fustel 1864:146; see Smith 1889: 114–19).
8 But Fustel’s masterpiece remains La Cité Antique, written over a six-month period at Strasbourg in 1864, comprising lectures given the two previous years. Initially published at his own expense, the work quickly won Fustel a following at the court of Napoleon III and, by 1890, had seen its thirteenth edition. 9 Not surprisingly, therefore, the Franco-Prussian War significantly altered the course of Fustel’s career, turning his interest from antiquity to what he perceived as his country’s national interest.